Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics


Stepped up lobbying effort by catering halls

In April, several catering companies in Long Island and Queens formed the nonprofit New York Caterer’s Association to represent their interests. Some of companies could receive amnesty in ongoing lawsuits under bills that the State Legislature could vote on Thursday.

Lobbying records show the association hired the lobbying firm Park Strategies Inc., headed by former Sen. Alfonse D’Amato, and lobbying firm Meara Avella Dickinson to represent them for a total of $37,500. They also hired the high-powered public relations firm Rubenstein.

Charter members of the association include Gennaro Tallarico of Fox Hollow in Woodbury, Robert Stevenson of Jericho Terrace in Mineola, Jerry Scotto of Westbury Manor in Westbury, Scott Morrell of Morrell Caterers in Melville, Joe King of Antun's in Queens and Michael Russo of Russo’s on the Bay in Queens. 

Some companies have battled with workers before over wages. Westbury Manor, for example, last year was ordered to pay $610,000 in back wages to employees in a judgment obtained by the federal Department of Labor for failing to pay minimum wages and overtime.

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Which was the most fevered lunge for self-promotion by a power player?

Sec. of State John Kerry seeking more authority for the administration to fight ISIS. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warning of “dangerous concessions” if rivals win election. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.): “Is there ever a good time to admit our country tortured people?"

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